As state and local representatives, it is our responsibility to fight for the best interests of the people of our community. Eastern Niagara Hospital has experienced financial difficulties that have forced the organization to explore downsizing proposals ranging from the reduction of service to fully closing the Newfane Hospital.
These proposed changes in service will no doubt have a lasting impact on our community, and while ENH is a private not-for-profit organization, it is the responsibility of a health care facility that serves our community to ensure that residents have timely access to emergency and general health services.
We are calling on ENH to conduct a full and independent Community Impact Statement based on any plan that would alter the range of services that the Newfane Hospital provides. In addition, we strongly encourage the ENH board to make public any current data that shows the impact to the community based on proposals to close or diminish services.
Like many residents in our community, we are concerned that this restructuring could have a negative impact on the Lockport facility as well. It is our desire to find solutions and offer recommendations that will lead to a stronger ENH system. Our hospital is vital to the quality of life for our residents.
We will be reaching out to the acting NYS Health Commissioner, Howard Zucker M.D., J.D., in addition to the Public Health and Health Planning Council, urging them to remember the best interests of the people of Niagara County when considering any potential change of service for the ENH Newfane site or the Lockport facility.
We will continue to work with ENH to accommodate their needs in an evolving market, however an open dialogue and transparent process while moving forward is critical to maintaining services and will help ensure the future ENH facilities in Niagara County.